A busy few days of outreach for the Christchurch (NZ) team. Thursday @ the Eastgate and Northlands bus stops. Friday: the first gospel + abortion outreach of the year outside Christchurch Hospital, open air preaching in Cathedral Square, flip charting in Cashel Mall, and the evening outreach in the city. Sunday: afternoon Cashel Mall outreach.
Thursday at the bus stops: Being the school holidays, there were periods where there weren't many people around (as per the picture), but as I’m looking back on my log of gospel interactions - it’s very long! The most encouraging thing was all the follow up conversations I had. I would approach people to start a conversation, and I would get responses of: “oh, you’ve already talked to me” - I’m just not remembering all the people I’m talking to!
I had two positive follow ups, and two “negative” ones - but all of them encouraging.
The first was with a young man at Eastgate he remembered the building / builder, universe / universe maker analogy - and it stuck with him, as he said it back to me right at the start. But when I asked him what the good news was, he said that we had to be good people - wrong answer! So I was able to go over the law and the gospel with him again. He is very open, and so I challenged him to respond to the gospel today.
The next follow up was with the older man I mentioned in a recent report that I had talked to at Northlands. This time I saw him at Eastgate. I challenged him about the way to heaven, and he responded with: “I don’t want to talk about it”. Fair enough, so we parted ways. Funnily enough, later in the afternoon, once I had moved to Northlands - I bumped into this man for a third time! I promised him I wasn’t following him. :)
The third one was with another young man, but this guy he had a good grasp of the gospel. He had obviously been reading the tract and pondering it. After a good conversation, he gladly took more tracts and a Bible - he seemed very keen to start reading it.
The last one was with a young man who wasn’t really keen to talk, and yet stuck around to engage with me. It turns out he was a muslim. He was challenged about the problem of how God can give justice and mercy - before he moved on to catch his bus.
I was also very encouraged to bump into a friend that I hadn’t seen for years. I used to play indoor cricket with him. We had a good catch up. The last time I talked to him about spiritual things, he had said he had been involved with churches, but wasn’t interested any more. Well now, his tune was different. He had recently lost some loved ones to death, and was really pondering the after life. I challenged him on if he would go to heaven - and his response was: “I’ve said the sinner's prayer” - as though it’s some magic spell. Sadly, the sinner's prayer has inoculated many people into thinking they are right with God when they are not. So we had a discussion on how we get right with God (a repentant faith in Christ) and how we can know that is genuine.
One last interaction that stood out to me at Northlands was with a lady whom I asked if she had ever thought about what happens after life. She said that she had been talking about that very subject with someone in the cafe at her work. She didn’t want to chat, but she did want a tract and said she would read it!
Of all the gospel ministry that occured on Friday, I will focus on the lunchtime open air preaching. It was one of the most difficult times I've preached. For a start, I was on my own. Next, I attracted lots of hecklers, which was great - but some of our regular hecklers stirred things up which made interaction really difficult. I felt quite grieved at how people were mocking God (I don’t care if they mock me). God is not mocked. And one day they will face Him. But I’m thankful for the patience of God! I hope some heard the gospel and will be saved from His wrath. Near the end, a young man approached me and started asking me questions about climate change. I said I would talk to him once I finished. He waited, and we ended up having a one to one discussion where I tried to share the gospel, but he seemed so blind - his focus was on the fact that there was no planet B, that he couldn’t see that there was no life B, which is a much bigger problem for everyone! Sadly he refused a tract on environmental grounds.
I know this report is getting long, but after a rest on Saturday, I was feeling really fresh for the Sunday afternoon outreach in Cashel Mall - the weather was hot. A team of six were out - including my three daughters.
The highlight conversation was a walk up with five young people. I managed to get them to stop, and then get them to engage through apologetics. Reading their reactions, I could tell one of them was really uncomfortable - she was one of the professing ‘atheists’. And so I gave them the option to end the conversation, and they took it - two tracts were taken. But I was really surprised when one of the girls didn’t leave with her friends. She wanted to know what church I was from, and she said it was really brave what I was doing. She said she had been a Christian, but wasn’t any more. But I could see that she was really thinking heavily about the important questions of life. She was one of the ones that took a tract. She wanted to know how she could get in touch - which I told her. I could tell she had deep questions, but she had to go. I pray that her questions will be answered, and that she would understand the gospel from the tract - that she would be saved by God and for His glory. Amen.
On Saturday at the outreach, our team was joined by a Christian brother and his family from Ipswich. This was a great encouragement for us. Together we distributed a large number of Gospel tracts, as well as several Bibles, Gospels, and other booklets. It was a privilege to be able to stand together for the furtherance of Christ’s kingdom in this country, and we pray for the freedom to continue to do so.
Several conversations were held during the course of the afternoon, with both individuals and groups. Two groups of young people went through the Good Person flip chart and took tracts.
An elderly gentleman we had spoken to last year stopped by in his motor scooter for a chat. We were able to present the Gospel to him, and he shared stories from his life, which opened up further opportunities to talk about God. He has had a very difficult life, full of pain and trouble, but even now the Lord can soften his heart and lead him to the place where He shall “wipe all tears from their eyes.”
One youngster came alone to the flip chart and was honest and open about his sin. He understood he would have to pay the price for his lawbreaking. In the distance however, his friends were calling him to come away. He stayed long enough to hear the full Gospel before he re-joined his friends.
David from Burkina Faso was hardened and angry against God. He bitterly said that all he wanted us to pray for was freedom for his country, because the British had stolen their liberty. We also pray that the Lord would free him from his spiritual blindness.
At our last outreach, we met a retired man who said he wouldn’t read anything we had, that he wasn’t a big reader. So this month we gave him a Christian DVD which he took and promised to watch. We pray this will play a part in opening his eyes to the truth of the Gospel.
As we were about to finish up, an older JW couple tried to convince us that they believe the same thing we believe, we’re on the same path, we’re going to the same place. With open Bible, Michael showed Rodney how different their belief was, how dangerously different from what the Bible teaches. To be converted, one must believe in the person and work of Christ, but the Jesus they believe in is simply not the Jesus of the Bible. They denied the Trinity and believed that Jesus is a (created) kind of lesser-god.
While this conversation was happening, another team member engaged with his Filipino wife, Francis. Over and over again, the conversation was brought back to the most serious question—how can a person be made right with God? What must one do to be saved? Her answer was that you must have faith and follow in obedience, follow the regulations, work. Everything she said took away from the perfect and complete work of Christ. When she was asked what must a dying person do to be saved, she shrugged and said that was up to God. A person must not only work to get saved, she said, but they also need to work to stay saved. How sad to think that these people have no firm eternal hope! Yet this is what JW doctrine teaches people. How much sweeter and purer is the Gospel which says that Christ had paid all, once and for all! Please pray for Rodney and Francis' conversion. They have been tragically deceived by this false teaching, but may they begin to see the light of the Gospel.
Please pray for conversions from this outreach. May lives be changed, may Christ’s kingdom grow, and may a new awakening begin right here at Bribie Island.
“But that’s impossible for me,'' she said. She didn’t realise how insightful her words were:
And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” - Mk 10:24–27
This is what I deal with daily, on the streets of Christchurch, people hearing the gift of Jesus, but counting the cost and knowing that it is completely impossible (in their own effort) to be saved. And yet, I trust in the wonderful words of Jesus in Mark 10:27: “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
And yet, this young Muslim girl had a similar reaction to the rich young ruler:
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. - Mk 10:21–22
The difference with her was Islam, instead of riches. She understood that she would have to let Islam go - that was impossible for her “, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
This was the last gospel conversation of an eventful afternoon outreach in Riccarton on Tuesday. A great way to start back after a holiday. The conversation was actually with two young Muslim girls. They smiled and accepted offered tracts - which surprised me. So I asked if they ever through about the afterlife, and a full and friendly gospel conversation developed. The conversation ended up focusing on how God can be just and merciful without either being compromised. The only solution that made sense was the perfect sacrifice of God the son: Jesus for the sin of the world. They understood, but were (naturally) resistant.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. -Ro 1:16
So I leave these young ladies in His hands. I pleaded with them to read through the Afterlife tracts they had received and to respond to the gospel. We couldn’t shake hands (due to their culture), but we parted (pictured) with smiles.
The outreach started with a conversation with three young high school students enjoying their summer break. They were keen to give the flip chart a go. Two of them became resistant, and so some apologetics were deployed. But the other guy was interested, and arguing on my side. Eventually, I said, “Look, I have some good news to share, do you want to hear it? Because your friend does.” They disengaged, and left their friend to me, where I was able to slowly but surely explain the gospel - it was wonderful seeing him come to an understanding and saying that there was nothing stopping him from trusting Christ’s payment for his sin. I challenged to do so, and asked him to get in touch.
Later, something special happened. Mr. Angry walked past! I pray for this guy approximately weekly, and I had just been praying for him in the morning. I hadn’t seen him for quite a while - and now he comes past, I was very encouraged. He started spewing his usual scorn. But I just couldn’t stop smiling. At one point he started to cross the road to get away from me, but he didn’t see a van coming round the corner! I had to warn him, and when he saw it, he was forced to walk back to me, giving me some more time to interact with him. I still don’t know his name, but I’ll keep praying for him, and God willing, I will continue to see him and that I’ll have more opportunity to share the truth of Jesus.
As Mr. Angry left, I turned around and got a fright! A young couple were standing right in front of the flip chart. She was even touching it - they were very curious. So I was straight into another gospel conversation. They seemed to understand (I used plenty of checking questions) but there was no interest that I could see. And yet, they have heard the gospel - it is the power of God for salvation!
Today I was in the city for two outreaches, one before lunch and one after. I had a number of conversations, including a few follow ups. I had two highlights.
The first was encountering two young men who had already been primed having heard the gospel from some Christian friends at their high school! I was very encouraged. So after re-explaining the gospel, we ended up spending time discussing some very good questions they had. Unfortunately, one of them received a phone call and they had to go.
The last conversation of the day was with another two Muslims - this time young men on holiday from Singapore. I was able to share the gospel before learning they were Muslims, and then the conversation ended up going down the same track as with the young girls the day before: how can God be merciful and also just. The only answer that makes sense is Jesus. Sadly these young guys were not interested at all. But yet, they have heard the gospel!
Great to be back to work! Thanks for your prayers; and also your financial support that is allowing me to do this. Please be praying for labourers for the harvest - and I encourage you to be an answer to your own prayers - come and join me in the joy of sharing the wonderful good news of Jesus our King! :)
Today at Redcliffe was such an exciting time for the whole team. We had seven (7) on the team, Hannah, Richard, Gary, James, Joseph, Andrew and Col. There was lots of gospel conversations and many tracts given out.
One young guy by the name of Benson, said he had never really thought about God before and was quite amazed when I told him why Jesus had died on the cross. He was so receptive to the gospel it was amazing !!! I went through the law with him and also explained that being a good person would not get him to heaven. He seemed to understand his need for a Saviour and salvation straight away. Andrew joined the conversation and explained how to find a good church to encourage him further.
Others on the team were also enjoying fruitful conversations further up the street near Bee Gee way. So many people were willing to talk today. Andrew had some great conversations including a discussion with one lady who said she wanted to put her faith in Christ for salvation.
If you have a prayer list could you please pray for our team at Redcliffe, that God would be pleased to use us for his Glory not ours. We want to always to give God thanks and praise for his kindness in giving us people to share the gospel with.
We have a big outreach happening on Australia day Sunday 26th January at Suttons beach so please come and join the team in the afternoon if you can.
Battle Log for Toowong Village : January 7, 2020 from 1330 to 1500.
Praise the Lord, while Winnie our regular and committed member could not come today, God brought three new members to join us. Mrs Yuen Hang Tsui from BCCC, also a BCQ alumni same as Johnny and myself. The other two are the twin daughters of Pastor Lily Emmanuel and Deborah. With Col and Gary our two local Aussie regular team members, Johnny our captain decided to resume splitting into two group. He led Emanuel and Deborah to work at the main entrance to the Toowong Village with Lily joining them later to form a sub- team of four. Col, Gary , Mrs Tsui and Hung, we continued to work at the Banson Street from the foot of the footbridge to the traffic light and covering also the bus station.
Johnny gave the twin sisters a demo using the Good Person flip chart while I briefed Mrs Tsui the gospel nutshell using the "Are you a Good Person" Gospel tract.
Praise and thanks God all of us including the first timer Mrs Yuen Hang Tsui had got many opportunities to share the Gospel. She will brief us later by a separate message. (*)
Johnny as usual ,got many conversations of which two led to confession to receive Christ. One by Mady an Aussie girl and another Indian lady.
Col had got one extra long conversation with Rick over an hour touching upon many question about faith. Trust that it help a lot to bring Rick closer to accept Jesus as his Savior.
Gary to day was doing exceptionally well despite of his comparative passive and not enforcing manner, that he got many conversation of considerably long length.
As for me I only got three quite significantly long conversations as recap below: -
1) Stephen, an UQ student from Bangladesh, stopped from reading his iPhone to chat with me. I went through the gospel explaining why being good persons alone cannot guarantee us to heaven but we have to be perfect as God is perfect. We will be punished for the imperfect thing we think or do to suffer for ever in Hell. Unless some one who is perfect willing to take our place to receive the eternal dead punishment. And there is no perfect person in this world so only Jesus incarnated as Human is perfect. His crucifix on on the cross was taking our place to receive that eternal dead punishment. But he rose three days later to prove he has conquered the power of death as such he is God and has authority to forgive sin. Stephen was convinced but possibly because of his Hindu background, he may need a bit push from the Holy Spirit to make this magic last step of faith to receive Christ as Savior and his Lord of life.
2) Next was an angry Middle East people who initially rudely declined to chat claiming himself not religious. In His strength, the Holy Spirit still work with me to get the conversation going until the bus come. He kept asking question trying to prove there is no God but ET Alien and if God exist, why He let terrible thing keep happening like the great bush fire that caused over 20 human lives and 500 Million animal lives. Why only human go to heaven , not the animal. Of course I have answer for each question he asked. But he actually did not care to hear my answer, but just raising numerous questions. to avoid the issue of the sin of human which is the culprit of giving rise to all those environmental disaster and war. If God was to stop all this bad things happening, all He has to do is to get rid of the cause of tall these problem which are in effect us the sinner. So out of God love and grace He wants to save us, but because of righteousness, he cannot let sins unpunished. The only way out is for sinners to rely on Jesus to die for us as well as our sin so that we can reconciled with God through Jesus atoning grace. From initial rejection to allowing the conversation to go on for 10 to 15 odd more minutes before the bus came was itself a miracle.
3) Caleb also politely tried to decline my invitation for a chat claiming he is a Christian. And he did pass my two diagnostic question with the 2nd one not clearly spelled out with clarity. Amazingly, he was getting more and more interested to hear my apologetic sharing to have explained and clarified many of his doctrinal questions. He was from USA and is doing working Holiday. His profile anyway was not common USA but of Spanish blood background.
4) There were a number of brief encounters all claiming they had chatted with me before and still felt appreciative for my gospel sharing.
(*) Yuen Hang Tsui - 07/01/2020
The first day when I joined the Mission group at Toowong, I got the chance to approach twelve people. At first I was a bit hesitated how to tell people the good news, with the grace of God I could share the good news with six people even though I could not finish the story with two as the bus had arrived. Three of them refused to talk, three of them were happy to accept the tract. I thanked God that I could have the chance to share the good news with people, I wish that I could continue the mission as long as God permitted.
On Monday the team headed back out to Capalaba for the first time this year and had a great afternoon. The team of four saturated the bus stop as there are still fewer people around than normal but overall it was a good afternoon of outreach.
An early conversation was with a lady named Hannah. She came to see God's existence and that because God is good there must be a day of judgement. She was then unsure of what hope there was and came to hear of the good news but then she was hesitant to believe in it because she didn't want to be reliant on someone else. She was shown that the reason people don't want to trust in Christ isn't honour but pride. It is because we think we have some ability to be able to get to Heaven ourselves and therefore don't want help. But when we come to see how desperate our position is before God, that without Christ we are destined for eternal punishment with no escape, then it makes sense to rely on the one who has the ability to save us. She was challenged as to what she will do with this good news and whether she will start trusting in Jesus to pay for her sin or will continue to rely on herself.
There was a young couple who were out for an afternoon of fun and had an opportunity to chat whilst waiting for their bus. They came to hear and grasp the simple gospel but encouraged one another away from believing in Jesus Christ because they wanted to live their own way. It was sad to see their rejection not knowing the moment they will pass from this life into the next.
There was an encouraging conversation with a lady who at first was a little ashamed of her Christianity but as we chatted she opened up and said she wasn't sure about whether or not she was going to Heaven but she knew the simplicity of the good news and was asked a few simple questions to help her realise that entry into Heaven isn't on the basis of her strength of faith but on object of her faith. She could be certain that she would enter Heaven on judgement day because Christ has died for the payment of her sin and is gloriously risen verifying that He is who He claimed to be.
Overall it was an exciting afternoon with a range of other conversations taking place. Please be praying that God may be working in the hearts of those who heard that message today, drawing them to Himself!
On Friday evening in Surfers Paradise it was very busy! Due to the holidays and the warm temperatures there were many families out! A lot of tourists were around and as a result it was a much harder time than usual to try and get into conversations. Usually when it is quieter there are just singles or couples walking around and are more willing to stop and chat but bigger groups are hesitant to stop, especially in fast moving foot traffic. With a team of 13 out there was also a bit of competition for space but overall it turned out to be a good night!
Apparently there was some type of "Orthodox" convention or holiday planned and as a result there were many people from the ironically named Orthodox religion. An early conversation was had with a young adult who declared that God would let him into Heaven because he had never done anything wrong. He was shown God's law and denied it and was shown that God says anyone who claims to be without sin is a liar. He didn't take well to God's word and actually said, "I disagree with whoever wrote that". His father joined in but was adamant that his actions would play the primary part in God's decision whether to save him or condemn him. It was scary that these men were so willing to hold onto their own righteousness when God has been clear that the standard of entry into Heaven is perfection.
There was a wonderful encounter with a young man from Christchurch (New Zealand) who was in Aus for his final day. He had a Catholic background and came to see that he is guilty and heading to Hell. He had to head off quickly mid conversation as the rest of his family were leaving and so he took a tract. As you may know from reading the reports, Operation 513 has some teams in Christchurch, please be praying that he would have an opportunity to finish the conversation which was begun here in Aus.
Another encouraging chat was with Casey who was open and willing to chat, he knows God exists and now that he will be found guilty on judgement day unless something is done but was dragged away by friends just as the good news was to be shared. He received a tract as well.
It was a night that it was a little harder than usual but God's word never returns void. Praise be to the one who uses the feeble efforts of His saints to draw sinners unto Himself!
Thursday the team started at Sunnybank and with 9 team members out and not many people using busses a team of six was left at the station and the others headed into Brisbane City early. There were some good conversations had at Sunnybank in the little over an hour before the split. There was a professing Christian who didn't know the gospel and was given a tract as he raced off, a man who once would have said he was a Christian who now rejected it and had some simply answered objections. Thirdly was a man who came to grasp the good news and was challenged as to when he would believe and was given a tract as his bus arrived.
A stand out converastion was with Bali a Nepalese man who remembered chatting to us and came and said hello. He said he was now beliving in Jesus to pay for his sin but was still a Hindu. It was a good opportunity to talk about the exclusivity of Jesus' saving work and talking about the importance of the lordship of Christ in the life of a believer. He was challenged to continued reading John's gospel that he had started and to strongly consider which he will choose, Hinduism or Christianity.
The whole day was finished with an exciting conversation with a African couple, Clement and Shantae. Shantae said they she was a child of God because she had been baptised and therefore thought that would be what got her into Heaven. Clement said it was faith in God and his good works. Through the analogies and explanation of the gospel as a gift Shantae came to grasp it first and said that she had already started to believe. Clement was a little most resisting but was asked that if the Bible says it would he believe it, to which he said yes.
He was then asked to read Romans 4:1-8 and was still hesitant and then was encouraged to read Ephesians 2:8-9. Upon reading the second one, his face changed and he acknowledge that absolutely it was faith alone in the person and work of Christ that justifies.
The couple then wanted to know more about Christianity and were encouraged to read John's gospel and Romans together. They hadn't spent much time reading the bible together but were shown COMA bible study questions and said they would sit down and read a chapter at a time and try and answer the questions together.
What an awesome end to the day of conversations with a wonderful opportunity. Please be praying for all those heard the message, were challenged by the gospel or even a question and who took tracts that God would be working in their hearts. Please specifically be praying for Clement and Shantae that they would grow together in Christ as they read God's word together!
On Saturday, by God’s grace five of us gathered at the city. The weather was great and very pleasant. We shared on Isaiah 64:6 and had some time to learn from book ‘Soul winner’ by Charles Spurgeon which said ‘The preacher’s work is to throw sinners down in utter helplessness, that they may be compelled to look up to Him who alone can help them’. and we all pray for the evangelism.
By God’s grace this Saturday, we had many interesting chats. We met people who thought that they are Spartans (but they considered themselves as Greek Orthodox Christians). Angelo was one of the person who thought so, he was really funny in character and brutally honest and quick to speak which I mean disruptive. He was very interested in the gospel tract ‘eternity’ and the question that I have asked “what do you think about after life?” and Angelo quickly asked me to sit down beside of him and engaged in the conversation. He considered himself as greek orthodox and boasted on orthodox’s long service time and uniqueness. So, I asked him "what is the good news that save us" he could not give appropriate answer and when I began to ask him the LAW question, he got distracted and started to talk about his good works he has been doing so far and at this very moment his best friend (who considered himself greek orthodox Christian and descendant of Spartan) came and interfered the conversation so the LAW questions were asked to him as well, Angelo’s friend seemed to be quite offended and shared his life testimony how he was really really bad person but now he is almost morally flawless and he was extremely very disruptive so I had to pleaded with him to give me a chance to speak which he did (Praise God!) and Gospel was shared and shared with them why I believe in the authority of the bible as they questioned the authenticity of the bible. Please pray for Angelo and his friend so that they may humble themselves and repent and put their trust in Jesus Christ.
I also met a person from India who was travelling Melbourne. He was gentle and engaged really well with conversation. He really got the whole point of the gospel about God’s justice, love, our wretchedness, death on the cross and resurrection. He kept on saying that really makes sense throughout the conversation. As he wanted to believe in this gospel, I urged him to repent and truly trust in Jesus Christ alone as he was from Hindu background. Praise God!. Please pray for him as you read this
From Huy Do:-
As we walked towards the state library for evangelism, we encountered some Mormon missionaries and their peers, to which we decided to preach the Gospel to them. I talked to a missionary and a girl by the name of Joanne, they both advocated that although Christ paid it, they still have to do the rest, meaning that it is partially Christ and partially them. I took the time to take them through the Word and labored in regards to the law, to break them until they could find no righteousness and no hope in it of themselves, so that they might find their worth in Christ. It was noticed that while this process took place, the girl with the missionary was very convicted, and the missionary wanted simply to leave early, so as to not be further exposed to the Gospel, but the kin in whom he went with insisted that they stay. As such, when they were taken through the Word, although Joanne had read the scriptures 4 times, she had not really considered what the scriptures said in regards to man’s depravity and the sole atonement of Christ that saves. At one point, I simply opened the scriptures to Romans 3 and told her to read from verse 10-24. By the expression of her face, she was very convicted, and shocked. Please pray for them that God will illuminate their minds in regards to the scriptures, convict them of their sins and regenerate their hearts
Soli Deo Gloria